By saving time, effort and money, remote diagnostics had already begun to transform industry long before COVID-19. Social distancing and restrictions on travel have simply reinforced their importance and value. This article looks at what this means for the die-casting industry in particular and shares a vision of a digital future.
General Motors plans to invest more than $51 million to install state-of-the-art equipment at its Bedford, Ind., aluminum die-casting foundry to support the manufacture of drive unit castings for the upcoming Chevrolet Silverado EV and other current casting applications. Renovation work will begin immediately at the facility. The all-electric Silverado, powered by the Ultium Platform, will debut on Jan. 5, 2022. Earlier this year, the 1-million-square-foot site began producing electric drive unit castings for the 2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup and 2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV.
General Motors announced a $100 million investment in two of its manufacturing facilities: $93 million at the Romulus, Mich., propulsion plant and $7 million at the Bedford, Ind., casting operations. The Romulus investment will add machining capability, while the Bedford investment will increase the plant’s die-casting capabilities. Both investments will support increased production of GM’s 10-speed automatic transmissions used in the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra light-duty, full-size pickups. Work will begin immediately at both locations.
Nine Westomat dosing furnaces from StrikoWestofen underpin die-casting operations at Lenaal’s industrial aluminum and zinc parts manufacturing facility in Radom, Poland. The plant installed its first furnace in 2007.
Quaker Houghton agreed to acquire the operating divisions of Norman Hay plc, a private U.K. company that provides specialty chemicals, operating equipment and services to industrial end markets. Norman Hay serves industries including aerospace, automotive, oil and gas and power generation through four divisions: Ultraseal, Sifco ASC, Surface Technology and Norman Hay Engineering.
Mercury Marine opened the 23,500-square-foot expansion to its die-casting facility in Fond du Lac, Wis. The $9 million investment provides space for capacity increases, allowing the company to make complex blocks, driveshafts and gear cases for Mercury outboards. The addition will be filled with large-tonnage die-casting equipment, including a 4,500-ton machine, that will drive higher quality and better throughput to keep up with increased engine demand.
Terves broke ground on a 12,000-square-foot expansion to its magnesium foundry in Euclid, Ohio. The H3-classified magnesium metal-processing facility expansion enables Terves to further expand its heat-treatment, metal-processing, machining and storage capabilities. Plans include additional permanent-mold and materials-handling space, as well as the addition of die-casting, sand-casting and squeeze-casting capabilities for custom magnesium and magnesium alloys and composites.
Magna opened an aluminum casting facility in Telford, England, that will supply structural castings to Jaguar Land Rover. The 225,000-square-foot facility, which is expected to employ 300 people, will use Magna’s patented vacuum die-casting process. The advanced lightweight aluminum castings produced help maximize strength and stiffness and minimize weight, which improves fuel economy, safety and handling.
The LamaCaster H100 Mk3 is a fast, powerful and accurate multi-slide hydraulic machine used for larger castings where tight tolerances, thin wall sections and excellent surface finish are the priority.